Have you noticed? Maybe you heard? There’s a very high chance you’ve experienced neither, and for believable reason. The blog I excitedly created one and a half years ago with ambition to be this cool, new trendy blog that aimed to cover all things travel, love and more but turned out to be nothing like I anticipated, is officially no more. That’s right, For Love and Wanderlust is officially off the interweb. Ridding of my creative baby was a decision I tossed around back and forth earlier this year but as I was struggling with my own internal conflicts with work, where I’m going in life etc. etc. (you know that frustrating feeling) I wasn’t quite ready yet. I didn’t know what I was going to do next, so I guess you could say I was a bit scared to let it go. It was like an unpopular identity that I used as a security blanket. Then March 2017 came around.
In March, I reached a point where I could take no more. I was mostly exhausted by the disdain I was experiencing at work which ultimately bled into every other part of my life and consequently became a ripple effect. I had no physical or mental energy to function like a normal human being and all my creative inspo was nowhere to be found to distract me. So I made the conscience decision to move on from the source behind it all and resign from my job. Let me tell you, the day I handed in that resignation letter and the moment I got to walk out of those doors four weeks later was the best overdue decision I could have made. With this newly gained freedom from the constraints of the corporate world and the 9 to 5, I found myself taking the next month to rid of all the negatives and clear my head. I then very excitedly booked myself a three-week solo trip through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. When I tell you solo travel is the best medicine, I MEAN IT! At least for me it is and that of the many beautiful beings I surround myself with.
On the 10th of May 2017, I packed my bag, called an Uber and made my way to the airport to go on my fifth solo trip to tick off countries #16, #17 and #18. People always ask me how I travel without my boyfriend and to be honest it’s so much easier to travel by myself than with him. I just laughed thinking about it but it’s true. I’m very lucky to have a partner that understands my need for my space and independence to do things my way. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling with him and we do it often but we have such a different travel style as a couple compared to how I travel when I’m by myself – basic amenities, constantly on the move, eating street food, talking to locals – you catch my drift. I needed this by myself backpackeresque adventure, so that’s what I gave myself …and oh my goodness was it EXACTLY the thing my soul was so desperately craving. I’m telling you, solo travel, what a game changer.
When I arrived back from South East Asia, I was a completely new woman. I was rejuvenated, inspired and determined to follow a new path in my life. A path filled with multiple avenues of inspiration, honour to my creativity and most importantly authenticity. I’ve never been one to want to fit into any kind of mould but time and time again found myself internally struggling because I was unknowingly doing so. Why? Financial security mostly. I kept pushing aside my true internal desires and callings so that I didn’t have to go to sleep worrying about money. Simple as that. Following my gut instinct to leave a career that was holding me back and heading to South East Asia to find my Zen changed everything. Following my deep internal desire to get out of the black hole I was being sucked into and follow my own light made my world bright again. As author Rebecca Campbell of Light Is The New Black best wrote, “Following whatever lights you up is how you will light up the world. How you will most light up the world is your calling. The world needs you lit up.” Truer words could not be spoken.
This brings me back to authenticity. Yes I am a traveller but I am not a travel blogger. Yes I love to talk about love, dating and romance but I am not a relationship expert. I have been an expat for almost five years and can tell you everything about packing your bags spontaneously to move across the world but everyone’s experience is different, I am not a professional expat. I will tell you what I am though. I am Valeri Fonseca. I’m a lover, an adventurist, I’m happy, I love to talk people’s head off, I think I’m funny (my family believes otherwise), I’m fearless but I get scared, I’m curious and I’m observant but most importantly I’M READY. I’m ready to share my most authentic and vulnerable self with the world in hopes of helping others find their light too. Together we are going to passionately follow our dreams, explore our thoughts, make mistakes and grow to be the best versions of ourselves.
This journey isn’t just about me. It’s about us. This is the real Valeri Fonseca. I am doing what lights me up and doing all things with love and authenticity. I deserve to share my light with the world.
Take a minute to evaluate how you’re living your life. Have you been living your most authentic self? I want to hear what you have been hiding in the shadows from. Don’t be afraid. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Please don’t hesitate to share this in the comments below or get in contact with me to have a chat about it.